3 out of 4 stars
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How would you feel if the person you were madly in love with asked for your approval to date your twin, who also happens to be your best friend?
One day, when twins Miranda and Cindy were fifteen years old, they heard a knock at the door and discovered the police there. They were informed that their parents were in a car accident. Both parents passed away soon after the girls reached the hospital. The twins were devastated. Miranda was stoic; however, Cindy became almost catatonic and had to be admitted to a care facility for over six months. Miranda, subsequently, felt she always had to be the strong sister, putting aside her own needs to protect Cindy.
Years later, Miranda collided with Roger one day while hurrying home with groceries. They met again later at a party and started dating. Miranda soon fell in love, but he didn’t seem to be quite as enthralled by her. Miranda had not told Cindy how she felt about Roger, wanting it to be a surprise. After they had been dating for a couple of months, she introduced them, and he was mesmerized by her. Roger asked Miranda for permission to date Cindy, not realizing that Miranda loved him. Wanting them to be happy but also hoping he will realize she is the one he should be with, Miranda gave him her consent. However, Cindy falls for Roger, and they are soon planning their wedding. It is now too late to say anything.
Miranda is heartbroken and has trouble holding it together until after their wedding. Then, knowing she has to get away from them for her mental and physical health, she obtains a new job in a different city to start over.
Beyond Despair by Shirley Hoisington is a romance novel with descriptive and easy-to-understand prose. The plot is interesting with a couple of twists encountered in it. Ms. Hoisington’s writing evokes emotions from her readers, drawing them into Miranda’s world. We feel Miranda’s passion and love for Roger and want to cry with her when she loses him to her sister. Her loneliness, when she has no one to talk to about her heartache, is perceived (her sister is the person she usually confides in). She is admired for sacrificing her happiness, so her sister can be happy. The reader pulls for her to move on and discover another love.
I enjoyed the author’s ability to get the reader to appreciate the passion in the story without erotic sex. All too frequently, authors seem to equate pornography with love. That is not the case here. The reader can practically feel the electricity without being inundated with explicit sex. However, scenes are described that are suggestive; an example is, “Miranda had no way of knowing that the moonlight surrounded her, making a silhouette of her nude body through the thin material of her nightgown . . . Her hair floated around her like a shimmering curtain of gold, sometimes revealing glimpses of her lovely form. As she finally turned to leave, he could see her beautiful breasts outlined against the material of her gown.” Her descriptive ability represents my favorite aspect of the novel.
Sadly, there were too many punctuation and grammatical errors in the book. They were not very distracting but were too many not to take off for. This was my least favorite part of the novel.
Because there was nothing else that I didn’t enjoy, Beyond Despair achieved a rating of three out of four stars. One star was taken away because of the errors. It is heartily recommended to readers who are looking for a romance novel for light reading, where they don’t have to do a lot of thinking about a long list of characters or a complicated plot. Because of the suggestive nature at times, it is unsuitable for children. No profanity was encountered.
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